Cruise Planners® Wins International Franchise Association Award for Technology Suite Launch

Cruise Planners® creates innovative solutions for travel agents including first-ever Artificial Intelligence technology

SAN DIEGO – November 3, 2017 – The nation’s leading home-based travel franchise, Cruise Planners®, an American Express Travel Representative, recently earned a FranTech Award from the International Franchise Association (IFA) and continues to stand out as a leader in innovation and technology. Presented at the 2017 FranTech Franchise Innovation Conference, October 19-20 in San Diego, the IFA award recognized Cruise Planners for its 2017 Technology Suite for travel agents which includes CP View™, CP Insights™ and the newly redesigned corporate website. Announced to travel agents at its 2017 Annual Conference on October 16, Cruise Planners continues to make strides in technology and innovation by becoming the first home-based travel agency to enter the world of Artificial Intelligence with the introduction of two new Alexa Skills making vacation planning easy for consumers and serve as a virtual assistant for travel agents.

“The 2017 technology suite represents the largest amount of tech innovations ever launched by Cruise Planners and provides highly efficient and targeted insight for franchise owners to market and work with their clients,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners. “When designing new technology, we strive to provide high-tech solutions for franchisees that strengthen the connection between travel agents and their clients.”

IFA award recognized Cruise Planners for its 2017 Technology Suite for travel agents

Stacie Faulds, Cruise Planners’ Director of Marketing accepts the International Franchise Association FranTech Award on behalf of Cruise Planners in San Diego, Calif. Cruise Planners earned this award for its 2017 launch of technology solutions for its franchisees

Creating technology solutions has increased sales for franchisees by leveraging data, introducing a lead-generating tool and syncing back-end business intelligence. The technology innovations were welcomed with a high adoption rate, proving these solution–oriented tools are effective and beneficial to the agent network.

Recently released custom tools developed by Cruise Planners Home Office Team include:

  • Alexa Skills—Two voice-activated skills using Artificial Intelligence to help Cruise Planners agents and their clients. One skill acts as a virtual personal assistant for Cruise Planners agents and the other is a hands-free way for customers to connect with their travel agent as they plan and countdown to their vacations
  • CP Maxx™—Cruise Planners’ next-generation booking and customer relationship management system for faster, streamlined results that “Maxximizes” business, efficiencies and profits
  • CP Insights™—Highly-efficient and targeted insight for franchise owners to market and work with their clients to provide relevant marketing and customized travel offers.
  • CP View™—Tool that curates data across the Cruise Planners network to anticipate client buying habits and target the right clients, leading to increased sales, brand credibility and stronger relationships. 

Cruise Planners takes an in-depth approach and reviews a variety of sources for inspiration, most notably, how the most successful franchisees perform and what common sentiments are echoed across the network in terms of technology needs.

Why More People Under 40 are Becoming Travel Agents

One Young Travel Agent Shares how She Gained Financial Independence and Travels the World as a Cruise Planners Franchise Owner

During the past 3 years, Cruise Planners has seen a 66% increase in franchisees under 40 joining the growing travel agency network. Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel representative, is the nation’s largest network of home-based travel agents who customize and plan a variety of vacations for all types of travelers.

As a profession, travel agents are making a resurgence with the number of travelers using a travel agent reaching an six year high in 2016 according to MMGY Global’s Portrait of the American Traveler. One factor could be Millennials are traveling the world more and are the age group most likely to use travel agents. Also, anyone who has started a travel search online knows how overwhelming it can be to experience information overload during an internet search. Because booking travel without support can be overwhelming, travel agents show their value by offering professional guidance, the best value offers and insider information for booking a vacation.

“It’s been only four years since I drank the Cruise Planners ‘green Kool-Aid’ and it has been the best decision of my life…besides marrying my husband,” said Lori Osgood, 33, a Cruise Planners franchise owner based in Jacksonville, Fla. “Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be this successful so quickly.”

Osgood is one of more than 1,800 Cruise Planners franchise travel agency owners who enjoys the benefits of working from home while selling vacations. As a franchise owner she is able to operate her independent travel franchise, while being her own boss, one of the many career perks important to young professionals. 

“With Cruise Planners, I am a part of a family, have built some amazing friendships and have a fantastic support system from the Home Office Team and other franchise owners,” she said. “When I started my original career, I figured I could travel the world when I retire, instead I have turned my passion for travel into my career and we get to travel now rather than later.”

Cruise Planners franchise owner Lori Osgood, right, of Jacksonville, Fla. is pictured with her husband Richard Osgood
Cruise Planners franchise owner Lori Osgood, right, of Jacksonville, Fla. is pictured with her husband Richard Osgood at Stingray City in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.


By focusing on industry relationships, she was able to propel her business and credits the growth of her franchise to the Cruise Planners training program and ongoing business development support she receives. As a budding entrepreneur, she regularly collaborates with other franchise owners in her area and proactively reaches out to the travel partners to create opportunities to network and learn from each other.

“These exclusive Cruise Planners events have been vital in the growth of my franchise,” she said. “Since being a successful travel agent requires me to travel and experience destinations, it’s important that I am able to work anywhere in the world and the Cruise Planners technology allows me to do that.”

Osgood works closely with her business development training coach and has set goals for the coming year as she continues to push past personal milestones in her travel career. As a relatively young travel agent she specializes in family vacations, destination weddings, honeymoons, and more.

“You definitely get out what you put in and I went all in as a franchise owner,” she said. “I will share with anyone who will listen about how much I love being a travel professional with Cruise Planners and selling the world.”

How to Start a Travel Agency from Home

If you have a passion for traveling and want the freedom of being your own boss, consider starting a home based travel agency. Not sure how to start a travel agency? Think about joining a travel franchise, such as Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, which comes with many benefits to help you and your new travel agency business succeed.

Why Start a Travel Agency Business?

Starting a travel agency franchise with Cruise Planners, gives you access to some of the best tools and training in the industry. Starting a travel agency from home without the support of a franchise can be difficult, especially trying to learn the ins and outs of the travel industry and building a client list. By starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners, you will have in-person training to become a travel agent and the back end support so you can keep your travel agency business flourishing. Most importantly, Cruise Planners is the link between you (the travel agent, franchisee) and cruise and travel companies, hospitality brands and worldwide destinations. By starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners, instant credibility is then added to your travel agency as Cruise Planners is an American Express Travel Representative and offers access to exclusive American Express Card member benefits.

You don’t have to go through this process of starting a travel agency alone. Starting a travel agency with your partner, family member or friend is made easy at Cruise Planners. Take a look at the story of mother/daughter travel agency owners and their journey from a corporate career to a travel agent career with Cruise Planners. Find out the most efficient ways on how to become a travel agent.

Finding the right Travel Franchise

Once you’ve decided to start a travel agency through a franchise, selecting the right franchise is the next step. Do your research and find out which franchise is the best fit for you. Does the mission of the franchise match yours? Do they provide tools to help you reach your goals and have a successful travel agency business? Is this a low cost franchise? How do travel agents make money as a travel franchise owner? Consider these questions before making the big decision on which travel franchise to join. Cruise Planners’ franchise sales team can help walk you through all of these questions and help you get one step closer to travel agency business ownership as a home based travel agent. Contact our franchise sales team to find out how to start a travel agency.

Franchise Military/Veteran Benefits

Are you active military, a military veteran or a first responder that’s interested in starting your own business? Cruise Planners might be the franchise for you. Check out the Cruise Planners’ Armed Forces and First Responders Initiative Program to learn about the special discounts, savings and more available to you and your family. Many of Cruise Planners travel agents are military veterans, find out how this military couple started their own travel agency business by using their army background to their benefit and became travel franchise owners.

Benefits of Starting a Travel Agency with Cruise Planners travel franchise

Many travel franchises offer training and support. From the comprehensive 6-day onboard travel agent training in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to year-round training and networking opportunities such as boot camps and the annual convention, and online courses, the support found at Cruise Planners is non-stop. During these trainings, you’ll learn about every element that goes into operating your travel agency along with in-depth learning opportunities about the industry.

Because of the low franchise start cost of starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners, and the added ability to work from home, or on the go traveling, makes Cruise Planners one of the most profitable frachises to start.

Travel Agent Training Academy

In addition to in-person training, Cruise Planners offers live and on-demand webinars as a part of the travel agent training and is accessible at home or on the road with Cruisitude Academy. Access videos and tutorials that you can utilize through Cruisitude Academy as a home based travel agent to your benefit to help maximize your sales. Unfamiliar with the business aspect such as marketing, public relations and advertising? as a Cruise Planners home based travel agent, you will learn all about these areas from first-hand experiences from travel professionals.

Travel Agent Training Certification

Cruise Planners offers an exclusive training and travel agent certification program that teaches travel agents how to plan destination and weddings at sea. Certified Cruise Planners travel agents offer superior service for engaged couples, so take advantage of this opportunity to potentially expand your client list. From land to sea trips, become an expert in all aspects of travel and a wedding specialist as a Cruise Planners home based travel agent.

Travel Agent Home Office Support

Around the clock support is provided by the Business Development Team at the Cruise Planners Home Office. Providing the best travel agency tools and technology to travel agents is extremely important at Cruise Planners. You will have access to the advance technology available that is designed to give Cruise Planners travel agents the ability to work from home or on the go. Share this technology with your clients as they have access to a travel agency mobile app designed specifically for them where they can view their upcoming trip personalized by Cruise Planners home based travel agents and more.

Travel Agency Marketing and Promotion

Travel franchises such as Cruise Planners, positions travel agents to achieve and exceed all of their goals. Cruise Planners is one of the best franchises to own and provides new home based travel agents with an initial list of potential clients to reach out to and build their very own client lists. Create custom ads, flyers and more available through the Magellan and ADDY Award-winning marketing and advertising strategies at Cruise Planners.

Join the Crusitude™ lifestyle and turn your love for the travel industry into being a successful home based travel agent today as a Cruise Planners travel franchise owner. No experience is needed when you join a travel franchise, so enjoy the freedom to create your own schedule and work from home or on the go. By combining the travel agent training and support with Cruise Planners’ award-winning marketing and technology tools, you can become a travel agent operating a successful, home based businesses. Check out our top 10 reasons to join a travel
franchise today and start your journey to becoming a travel agent with one of best franchises to own Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative.  

Please join us for an upcoming travel franchise opportunity webinar in which you can learn more about the features and benefits of owning your own Cruise Planners travel franchise.

Like Father, Like Son – How a Mutual Love of Travel Turned This Duo into Entrepreneurs

Cruise Planners’ business-in-a-box model has changed the lives of franchise owners across the U.S. by helping them build successful careers in the travel industry. With Father’s Day around the corner, father-son team, Neil and Jason Hantman, share their Cruise Planners success story.

Neil and Jason Hantman, share their Cruise Planners success story
Father and son, Jason and Neil Hantman, are Cruise Planners franchise owners based in Coconut Creek, Fla.

With travel industry experience under their belts – Jason is a former Norwegian Cruise Line employee and Neil as a former Wyndham Worldwide employee – Cruise Planners was a perfect business opportunity for the father and son team. “Both of us have a passion for travel and we enjoy helping others fulfill their passion,” Neil said. Even though travel industry experience is not necessary, in 2014, Neil and Jason discovered that Cruise Planners had exactly what they were looking for and opened their franchise, based in Coconut Creek, Fla.

This father-son team find their personal connection and mutual love of travel make them ideal business partners. “There is an element of trust and we can use our own experiences to assist our clients,” Neil said. The Hantman duo credits the many tools available through Cruise Planners for helping them operate their business smoothly, including “the ease of use of Cruise Planners technology, support from the Home Office Team and Cruise Planners partnerships throughout the travel industry,” he said.

Cruise Planners franchise owners use their extensive knowledge of the travel industry to create memorable and personalized trips for each client. Looking for the perfect Father’s Day surprise getaway? The Hantman duo recommends a fun-filled weekend cruise packaged with specialty dining and an unlimited beverage plan. Make the trip extra special by adding on adrenaline-filled excursions such as parasailing and jet skiing to ensure the ultimate Father’s Day adventure.


Contact us, by calling 888-582-2150 or register for an upcoming franchise webinar, for more information about starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners.